Corporate Startup Innovation
[ August 1, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Jim Adler

Jim Adler
Founding Managing Director and Board Member
Toyota Ventures

Jim Adler is the founding managing director of Toyota Ventures, and an executive advisor at Toyota Research Institute (TRI). He also serves on the Investment Committee of JetBlue Technology Ventures, and he is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Toyota Financial Savings Bank and the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory

Jim joined Toyota Ventures from TRI, where he served as vice president of data and business development. Prior to that, Jim was vice president of products and marketing at Metanautix, a big data analytics startup funded by Sequoia Capital and Workday that was acquired by Microsoft.

Previously, Jim was the vice president of data systems and chief privacy officer at Intelius, which was acquired by H.I.G. Capital. In addition, he founded VoteHere, a pioneer in cryptographic secure and secret online voting for public elections that was funded by Cisco and HP, among others.

Jim started his career as a rocket engineer for Lockheed Martin.
He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with high honors from the University of Florida, and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, San Diego.

Corporate Startup Innovation
[ August 1, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

James Loomstein

With more than 15 years experience in strategic planning, digital marketing and consumer insights, James is all about staying a step ahead of the digital marketing status quo.

An industry veteran with leading-agency experience, he set out to build an agency that would create compelling digital experiences, deliver actionable takeaways and customize digital efforts to unique consumer bases.

FOR FUN: You can find James keepin’ it Rogue delivering his opinions on the latest happenings in the Dallas sports world, as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business and as a sought-after digital marketing speaker.

Corporate Startup InnovationUncategorized
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Yoram Solomon

Dr. Yoram Solomon is the Author of The Book of Trust and 12 more books, 9 patents, and was one of the creators of Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 technologies, for which he was dubbed “TI’s Great Innovator.” Dr. Solomon was named by Innovation Excellence as one of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers from 2015 to 2019, and by Thinkers 360 as one of the top 20 Global Thought Leaders on
Culture. He was a columnist at Inc. Magazine, Innovation Excellence, and other publications, where he published 300+ articles.

Dr. Solomon holds a PhD in Organization and Management from Capella University, an MBA from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, an LLB from the Tel-Aviv University Law School, and an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering from Ort Singalovski. He completed the executive Marketing Management Program at Stanford University and the Developing the Strategic Leader program at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in Colorado Springs. Dr. Solomon is certified by CCL to administer
the KEYS and SKILLSCOPE assessments and is an authorized provider of school board training by the Texas Education Agency.

He has founded several startups and sold a startup company in Silicon Valley. He has held various positions from General Manager of a $100m business unit in a Fortune 200 company to a Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Innovation, and to CEO.

Dr. Solomon held (and still holds) positions as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem.

A National Speakers Association Professional Speaker, he spoke in several different national and regional conferences, including the Human Resources Southwest Annual Conference, the Association for Strategic Planning National Conference, CDX Annual Conference, and many more.

Yoram was the host of the first TEDxPlano in 2014 and spoke at TEDxOakLawn in 2018. His customers include a wide range of Fortune 500 companies as well as startups, for-profit, non-profit, and government organizations, in a broad spectrum of industries from technology to retail, healthcare, defense, and education. He served companies such as AT&T, Dannon, Amway, Texas Instruments, and many more, who described his keynotes and workshops as transformative.

In 2015, he was elected to the Plano Independent School District Board of Trustees. Yoram served in the IDF 35th Airborne Paratrooper brigade and as a USAF CAP pilot and Aerospace Education Officer.

Dr. Solomon is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the SMU Cox School of Business since 2018.

Corporate Startup Innovation
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Carlos Martinez

Visionary leader and entrepreneur with thirty-one years of professional consulting experience in the implementation of enterprise-wide software applications and business transformation solutions in the upstream oil and gas industry. During his career with EDS and PriceWaterhouse, Mr. Martinez performed various consulting roles including systems engineer, management consultant, and Principal Consultant.

Mr. Martinez was instrumental in the design, build and implementation of PW’s Production and Revenue Accounting software (PREMAS). He was the President and Founder of Strategic Systems & Products (SSP) where he developed the vision and achieved SAP solution certification for the READYUpstream All-In-One solution which disrupted the SAP software space as the first template pre-configured solution for the upstream oil and gas industry. Performed as North America upstream oil and gas practice leader at Capgemini LLC after their acquisition of SSP. As Vice President, Mr. Martinez had overall responsibility of all practice management including financial performance, staff recruitment and retention, marketing and business development, product/service vision development and execution, and client management.

Mr. Martinez is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the SMU Cox School of Business and member of the SMU COX Associate Board since 2018.

Corporate Startup Innovation
[ August 1, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Alex Ramsey

Growing a company takes more than an idea as Alex Ramsey knows well. It takes leaders who can inspire people and make the best decisions possible about the unknown. That’s how Alex Ramsey plays an important role in coaching entrepreneurs and shaping the future.

With a commitment to improving leadership, influence, and communication, Alex has created a variety of professional development programs. Her company Lodestar Universal delivers these to corporations and entrepreneurs along with executive coaching. Her continuing research allows her to discover new approaches to meet the evolving challenges entrepreneurs face.

And she walks her talk: As president of a family company that started almost 50 years ago, she receives daily opportunities to apply all her ideas and “theories” to reality!

Her curiosity, research, and discoveries have led Alex to create a variety of university classes, including the one she teaches on managing a fast-growth company at SMU’s Cox School.

A former Dallas Morning News columnist, Alex is a serial entrepreneur and professional speaker who was invited, not once but, three times to ring NASDAQ’s opening bell. Alex is well-respected for her work with high-tech companies raising venture capital. The Wall St. Journal, Harvard Management Update, and Investor’s Business Daily, have covered Alex and her work. Clients also have included corporate giants such as ExxonMobil, Liberty Mutual, and UPS as well as startups.

A lifelong resident of Dallas, Alex holds a B.A. and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Corporate Startup Innovation
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John Terry

Early in his career, John designed and built high-powered television stations, later moving into product management where he led technology development and worked with the television networks during the conversion from analog to high-definition digital television.

He completed his MBA at SMU Cox in the mid-90s, and soon thereafter started an advisory firm focused on early-stage companies and owner-managed and family businesses. Focused on finance, capital structure and performance, ChurchillTerry has advised more than a hundred businesses on issues ranging from funding to growth to turn-arounds to exit. John selectively invests in privately held companies, venture funds and hedge funds.

He has taught entrepreneurship courses to graduate students at SMU Cox for 25 years, and created the Venture Capital Practicum course in 2002 for select students to get hands-on venture and PE experience sourcing deals for the SMU MBA Venture Fund where he sits as a founding board member.

Corporate Startup Innovation
[ August 1, 2022 by Emma Barnhouse 0 Comments ]

Jim Chester

Jim Chester is a partner in Dallas-based technology boutique law firm Klemchuk LLP. Jim has spent the last 25 years advising companies worldwide and on the Internet to address legal challenges related to business and corporate matters, intellectual property, technology transactions, eCommerce & international transactions.

He is also an adjunct professor at SMU’s Cox School of Business, teaching Entrepreneurial Law & Business law. Jim previously taught at Baylor Law School for 20 years and has served as an adjunct professor of business law at the University of Dallas and at Texas A&M- Commerce.

Jim is currently a mentor-in-residence in the SMU INCubator and serves on the advisory board for the Texas A&M- Commerce, “Venture College” student incubator.

Jim is also an entrepreneur himself, having founded or co-founded several startups. His most recent ventures include VENTAC ( ), a subscription-based service that provides legal counsel, forms, and similar legal resources to startups and innovation-based companies; and Engage (, an executive suite concept exclusively for attorneys.

Jim’s professional honors include being named to the Texas “Rising Stars” and “Super Lawyer” lists since 2008, being listed in D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas,” and earning an “AV® Preeminent” Peer Review Rating from Martindale Hubbell®.

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VR Small

VR Small, is the founder and chief executive officer, for the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center (VWEC), a national initiative, launched in southern Dallas, to empower entrepreneur women associated with the military to scale for success. VR testified for the original House Bill to make June 12, Women Veterans Day in Texas. In 2020, she led the launched of the first annual, statewide Women Veterans Day Pitch Competition, highlighting the innovations, and economic impact of current/potential women veteran entrepreneurs. VR also participated in the Texas “I Am Not Invisible” Campaign. VR serves on the Advisory Committee for TWU’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs, and is a fellow of SMU’s Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity—Inclusive Economy, Dallas Public Voices, the Bush Institute Stand-to-Veteran Leadership Program, and is featured in Dallas Innovates 2020: The Future 50 North Texans. VR is the SBA’s DFW District 2020 Veteran Small Business Advocate of the Year, serves on the 30th Congressional District Veteran Advisory Committee, is a Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), Center for Women Veterans (CWV), 2021 Trailblazer “Women Veterans Leading the Way” and was recently announced as a Dallas Business Journal’s 2021 Women in Business Awardee. Most importantly, VR is a Navy Veteran, proud stepdaughter, and sister to U.S. Army Retired Vietnam & Iraq Veterans, respectively. Living her personal slogan “Changing the way we see the world and do business,” as a motivational speakers, moderator, educator, and dedicated advocate, specifically for women veteran, as well as women, and small businesses in general—driving social, and economic change across our nation.

Community Navigator
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LaShaunda Rene

LaShaunda P. René (LPR), Vice President, Texas Market for TruFund Financial Services a National, US Treasury-Certified, Non-profit, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

LaShaunda isresponsible for leading market operations and expansion, including being a brand ambassador, partnership and funder cultivation, resource and business development in the Texas Region.

LPR has over 18 years professional experience in the non-profit and government sectors. During her tenue with TruFund, LaShaunda has supported small, rural, minority and women-owned businesses in disaster recovery, business resilience, and capacity building for growth and scalability. LPR is a strategic thought partner within the small business ecosystem and advocates for small business, in partnership with elected official, government, and community leaders.

She is a graduate of International Business and French Studies from Dillard University and Master of Public Administration from Walden University. LaShaunda is a member of the Houston Business Ecosystem Alliance for Minority and Women Owned Businesses (BEAM-W).

Community Navigator
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Maria Hall

Maria Hall is a Business Development Officer with the LiftFund, the largest micro-lender in the United States. In this capacity, she serves as a resource for small business owners by providing business advising services and guiding them through LiftFund’s lending programs and development services. She works closely
with key referral partners and community organizations to provide financial educational business support and identify business clients lending needs.

A business veteran with more than 30 years’ experience, Maria has extensive experience in economic development focusing on small business development and finance. Prior to joining the LiftFund, she served as a business advisor at the UH SBDC where her areas of expertise were strategic planning, sales, financial analysis, and leadership management.

She has started two businesses, including an insurance agency, and has worked as a consultant, business coach, trainer, and a chamber executive. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Marketing, she is a Professional Path Certified Coach, Licensed Trainer, National Training Team Member, and a Certified Startup Expert-Top 6 Business Coach. Maria lives in Euless, Texas with her husband Michael and puppy, Coco. She is a proud Abuela to Madeline, enjoys reading business books, yoga, and everything beach.